May 27, 2023, KARACHI: Spokesperson KE in an online statement reiterated that loadshedding schedule for Karachi has not changed since March 2023. The company conducts periodic assessments of theft, losses and recoveries on over 2,000 feeders which form the basis for loadshedding schedules in the city.
Speaking about the power supply situation, KE spokesperson stated “about 70%-75% of our network is currently receiving uninterrupted electricity. These areas show low instances of electricity theft, and bills are being paid on time and in full.”
Speaking about the remaining network, the announcement stated that this “comprises areas where up to 90% electricity is stolen, and bills against actual consumption remain unpaid. These areas account for approximately 25% of our network.” Even in these localities the company is providing electricity for up to 14 hours a day.
However, utility services do not operate in a vacuum. Amid current macroeconomic conditions and rising fuel costs for energy generation, “free electricity” cannot be provided where bill payments are low and declining.
Clarifying misconceptions on the tariffs, spokesperson shared that across Pakistan, rates charged in customer bills are equal for each category. These are determined by NEPRA, notified by Government of Pakistan, and apply on DISCOs and KE. No company can change tariff on its own. As the government increases rates, DISCOs & KE must charge the same to customers.
The spokesperson affirmed that loadshedding can be reduced if customers pay their bills regularly. He also appreciated the cooperation of the Sindh Government and Power Division for their support in inculcating a culture of regular bill payments through their elected representatives in various areas of Karachi. The company remains available to work closely with residents or area representatives to address any concerns and assist in this aim as well.
Suggesting a way forward, spokesperson stated that support from elected area representatives is vital in ensuring a fair and sustainable electricity supply for all and requested them to encourage residents to prioritize bill payments, while calling for and taking strict action against electricity theft.
Long-term sustainability of the sector rests on ability to adapt and adjust our electricity consumption patterns, and adopt energy conservation measures so that customers can manage the current economic conditions. All stakeholders from the customers to the provincial and federal government have a role to play.
K-Electric (KE) is a public listed company incorporated in Pakistan in 1913 as KESC. Privatized in 2005 KE is the only vertically integrated utility in Pakistan supplying electricity within a 6500 square kilometers territory including Karachi and its adjoining areas. The majority shares (66.4%) of the company are listed in the PSX owned by KES Power, a consortium of investors including Aljomaih Power Limited of Saudi Arabia, National Industries Group (Holding), Kuwait, and the Infrastructure and Growth Capital Fund (IGCF). The Government of Pakistan is also a minority shareholder (24.36%) in the company.